Benjamin Long: SysAdmin, Amateur Programmer, Scientist, Husband & Father

The Beauty of Knowledge

April 12th, 2012 | Posted by benjamin.long in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)
A Sunset

On a few occasions I’ve heard an argument that goes something like this:

People like you need to know how everything works, and all it does is take the beauty out of everything! Can’t you just enjoy the beauty of [insert natural event or object here] without digging into how it works and ruining it?

The premise of the argument is that knowing too much about something somehow lessens your appreciation of it. Let me show you by some examples how little water that argument holds. (more…)

Why Ask Why (Part 4)

March 3rd, 2012 | Posted by benjamin.long in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)
Well, hello there!

“Fear is the mind-killer.” — Dune by Frank Herbert
Every malevolent leader knows how good fear is for keeping their subjects in line. All one must do is generate a phobia in someone that keeps them from seeing past the fear. If we are paralyzed by fear, we have lost our free will to do what we want. A good phobia is the ultimate tool to keep people from thinking and asking questions.


Why Ask Why (Part 3)

January 10th, 2012 | Posted by benjamin.long in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)
Everyone on the bandwagon

See Part 1 & Part 2.

There are a few names for it. Getting on the bandwagon. Herd mentality. Groupthink. They all mean the same thing. As social beings, we enjoy the acceptance of our peers. This desire for acceptance is an incredibly strong motivation to conform even when we don’t naturally agree with a position. This can be manipulated in a couple ways. (more…)

Why Ask Why (Part 2)

January 3rd, 2012 | Posted by benjamin.long in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)


Picture of Scales

Weigh emotions carefully

Part one concluded by talking about how our emotions sway our decision making processes. The point being that when we stop asking questions and challenging our understanding of the world we are then easy pray to people who use those emotions, the only thing left to guide us, against our own interests. What kind of emotions are most easily used against us? There are several. (more…)

Why Ask Why (Part 1)

January 2nd, 2012 | Posted by benjamin.long in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)
Icelandic manuscript of the geocentric world view

The geocentric world view

Geocentricism, the belief that the earth is stationary and everything we see in the sky circles it, is a common sense conclusion when faced with the evidence gained though common & casual experience. (more…)